Meet the Small Battery Maker with Huge Job Prospects

AssociatedPress

A small start-up company said Monday it would create hundreds of jobs when it moves into a massive, former Philip Morris USA cigarette plant to build batteries that it says will help power companies save energy and work more efficiently.

North Carolina officials on Tuesday are expected to hear Alevo Group representatives discuss plans to manufacture the utility-scale batteries at the factory site in Concord, where more than 2,000 were employed before it closed in 2009, State Commerce Department spokeswoman Kim Genardo said. Alevo believes that as the U.S. and other nations work to reduce emissions of gases that are contributing to climate change, its energy-saving technology will become more valuable.

Its battery hasn’t been seen and tested by many outsiders.

But the group said it plans to hire 500 workers next year and–if sales take off–2,500 or more within three years at the plant in Concord.

Alevo is seeking no state or federal tax breaks or other subsidies to set up shop in North Carolina, Genardo and company spokesman James Kennedy said.

Alevo hopes to sell its big batteries to utilities and grid operators. Utilities and power generators now have to power fossil-fuel-powered plants up and down quickly to match electricity demand. That uses more fuel than just keeping the plants steadily churning out power at consistent levels.

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